Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Week of Exchanges

This week I did not get to spend too much time in my area. I went on two exchanges this week. One with Elder Rogers in Snellville, and the other with Elder Smith in Jackson. It was a great week with some really great experiences. I am so greatful for the wonderful Elders serving here in this zone. Elder Wahlen and I had a pretty good week in our area. We really get along and he is definitely one of my favorite companions. He has taught me so much and I am so greateful to be serving here with him. 

     On Tuesday I went on an exchange with Elder Rogers in Snellville. It was a great exchange. I had the opportunity to attend his first district meeting, which went great, and to introduce him to all of the investigators and some of the mighty members in Snellville. It was really just a perfect day. Everyone that we wanted to see we were able to see. We saw Yolanda, Regina, Chelsea, and Angela. We went to dinner with one of my favorite members from Snellville, David Josue. He surprised me by taking us out to eat at my favorite restaurant in Snellville, Provino's! It is just this awesome italian restaurant that has the best garlic rolls ever! We found two incredible families that day. One of the people we found was name Secely, her and her son are now on date to be baptized. We also got to give a blessing to the friend of a member. He name is Kaya, and she is super awesome. To finish off the day I got to say goodbye to my other favorite Snellville member, Brother Tackett. We made his "secret recipe" ice cream (as he was making it he said it was secrect, but he would occasionally look at the recipe on the ice cream salt to see what came next in the recipe. Such a jokester. Haha). 

      On Friday I went on an exchange with one of my favorite Elders in the mission, Elder Smith! Elder Smith and I served around each other while I was in Dallas. Elder Smith is just an incredible missionary who I can see myself being lifelong friends with. I have the greatest respect for Elder Smtih. He is a quite Elder and keeps to himself. He reminded me a lot some of my friends back home. He doesn't say much when he is around other people, but he is a powerhouse of a missionary. I feel like Elder Smith has not gotten recognized for how great of an Elder he is, not that it is important to get recognized for your works. But I just don't think that people realize how great Elder Smith is. He is such a great teacher. When you get in a lesson with him you can tell of his sincere care and love for the people that he teaches. You can tell that he sincerely LOVES the Gospel. I really believe that he is one of the best Elders out here. Him and Elder Holt I really respect because you can tell of their genuine and sincere love for the Gospel. 
      Our exchange was awesome. Elder Smith serves in Jackson Georgia. It is the Southern-most area in the mission. and it is SOUTHERN. Goodness, this is probably my favorite places I have been in Georgia. It is the first place in Georgia where I was just in awe over how beautiful the surroundings were. The houses, the archecture and the people. I felt like I was in the movie Forrest Gump. The first lesson that we taught was with a guy named Arthur, he was a recent convert of almost a year. This man was Southern, you could hardly understand a thing that he said. Haha. The second lesson that we taught was with a part member family named the Knight Family. Brother Knight is not a member, but loves the missionaries. This was probably one of my favorite families I have met on the mission. I loved them to death. Sister Knight cooked us some great spaghetti and we ate and ate. After we ate it was time to have teach Brother Knight about the Restored gospel. Brother Knight gives all the missionaries nick-names. Elder Smith's name is Elder Smooth. He said that he only gives the missionaries he likes nick names, and some missionaries have to wait months to get one. We sat down and I asked Brother Knight what was holding him back from getting baptized, because he would make an incredible member of the church. He said that he had a problem with the idea of living day prophets. After a few scriptures and my time-machine analogy and our testimonies, Brother Knight annointed me with the nick-name "Brother K." Haha. He said that the K was for knowledge. Haha. He said that I really impressed him and that I was a great teacher and that the things that we taught he never really clicked before until that day. It was a great lesson. I really loved this exchange with Elder Smith. It was a great day. 

       I don't have too much more to write about. I am trying hard to get to know the ward and all of the things the members of it. It is hard because I know that my time is limited, and I am trying to do as much as I can before I leave this area. We have a few really great investigators. One of them is named Celentria and she is preparing to get baptized. She just has to stop smoking and she will be baptized. I have a lot more that I want to say, but I really just don't have time to say it all. 

       I have come to realize a lot about missionaries and mission culture throughout my mission. I have had such a great change to really get to know some amazing missionaries that have just impressed me so much. I have been so inspired by other people's testimonies and it has made me want to be more motivated and work harder. These missionaries aren't district leaders, zone leaders, or an assistant to the President. Just normal missionaries. I have come to realize that truly great missionaries are the ones that try their very very best, and do it because they love Jesus Christ and have a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel. I have a testimony of the changing and enabling power of the atonement. I know that I have seen it work in my life and in the life of those missionaries that work hard and love the Savior. I love this church, and I love this gospel. 

-Elder Ryan Romero 

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